‘No chibok girls, No election’ – Northern elders warns Jonathan

RECALL, For over three months, more than 200 girls abducted by the
fundamentalist Boko Haram sect have been in captivity. Eleven of
their parents have died, following the trauma. The government
says it knows where the girls are, but it is being careful not to do
anything that will put their lives at risk.

The Federal government has been given an ultimatum to produce the abducted chibok girls or else there will be no election next year. The Northern Elders Forum on Monday gave President Goodluck Jonathan up to October to produce the more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram sect or forget his 2015 presidential re-election bid.

The Alhaji Sule Maitama-led NEF noted that the warning became
imperative because they were in firm conviction that the
insurgency occasioned by the activities of the sect and other
related security challenges posed a threat to the 2015 elections
and the survival of the nation.

“In the light of our firm conviction that the insurgency and related
security challenges pose threats to the 2015 elections and the
survival of our nation, we strongly advise President Goodluck
Ebele Jonathan to bring an end to the insurgency in all its
manifestations and produce the Chibok girls before the end of
October 2014,” Mr. Solomon Dalung, ex-Speaker of the Plateau
State House of Assembly, said at a press briefing in Kaduna on

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The former Speaker, who spoke on behalf of the Northern Elders
Forum said failure of the president to produce the Chibok girls and
tackle other security challenges in the land, amounts to the
forfeiture of his rights to ask for another mandate to lead Nigeria
beyond 2015.

According to him, circumstances under which the people of Gwoza
in Borno State live as if there is no government was unacceptable.
He said the trend must be reversed immediately, pointing out that
“in the event that President Jonathan fails to do this, Nigerians will
be left with the only conclusion that he has forfeited his right to
ask for our mandate beyond 2015.”

He said the lack of strong will by the president to fight, coupled
with the thriving corruption in his government, as well as
incompetence had allowed the insurgency in the north to continue

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The development, had forced the Forum to resolve that most of the
security challenges in some parts of the region were being carried
out to weaken the North politically.

At the press briefing which was also attended by former INEC
Secretary, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Said Dalung said, “The
security situation in our nation today represents the most serious
threat to our individual and collective lives in our entire history.
The reality is that the threats posed by what appears to be an
insurgency that has many manifestations and defies a clear and
consistent identity is growing due to the absence of a clear
national consensus over its nature, and it solutions.

“The Northern Elders Forum does not believe that the Nigerian
military cannot defeat these terrorists. We also reject the notion
that multiple internal security challenges such as attacks on
villages, ethno-religions conflicts and banditry springing up by the
day in many parts of the North are all a coincidence.

“Indeed, we are convinced that most of these conflicts are being
engineered to weaken the North politically and economically by
interests which intend to exploit such weaknesses for electoral

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“It is no secret that the vast majority of Northerners lament their
marginalisation, insecurity and poverty, and blame it in large part
on the inability of unwillingness of its past and present leaders to
utilise all access to power which they enjoy, to bring us redress
and relief.

“General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, General Abdussalami Abubakar, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Architect Namadi Sambo, General T.Y Danjuma and all retired Chief Justices of Nigeria from the North represent grossly under-utilised assets of the North. The NEF joins millions of Northerners in appealing to these leaders to raise their levels of involvement in the fortunes of our region.”